Times Internet Ltd* is pulling the plug on its email service Indiatimes Mail. According to a notice on the site, the service will stop accepting new users from 19th November 2012, and Indiatimes email will itself permanently shut down from 18th February 2013, at 12 PM Indian Standard Time. Hat Tip: @dinakaran

Why this is particularly interesting is that email has usually been a tool for ensuring regular usage of horizontal portals: Yahoo India, for example, is believed to get much of its traffic in India for its email service, and the landing page (Yahoo.com) benefits as a result, providing access to news and information to its visitors, contributing multiple pageviews as a result. Ditto for MSN India; this is also probably one of the reasons why In.com had added email to its portfolio of services; India.com initially pitched the India.com email address to its users. Email is supposed to contribute not only regular usage, but also significant pageviews. In addition, there are email footer ads on offer for advertisers.

Times Internet Ltd could have decided to shut it down if the return on investment on email wasn’t significant: it wasn’t contributing significantly in terms of pageviews or revenues. We’ve written to TIL for more on this.

Copy of the notice on Indiatimes.com below

This is to inform that the Indiatimes.com Email Service will stop accepting new users from 19th November, 2012.

The Indiatimes.com Email Service (“Service”) will be discontinued and shall be permanently shut down with effect from 18th February, 2013 at 12 PM (Indian Standard Time).

You will no longer be able to send or receive mails or access your account for the purpose of reading mail and/or transfer any data (i.e. emails, tasks, documents, folders, appointments, and/or contacts) currently saved in your account post 18th February, 2013 – 12 P.M(Indian Standard Time).

Update: Details on how to download your mails here

*Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama.